William L. Iggiagruk Hensley has written a wonderful autobiographical romp through Inupiat history, Alaskan statehood, and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act establishing Alaska Native rights to 44 million acres and a billion dollars. Maybe chump change in retrospect but for the time a wonderful victory. You will enjoy his life and career in Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People, and learn what we should have been shown as children in school.
His Inupiat childhood had much to tell the rest of us about family, community, living with an environment, and respecting culture, not to mention their food. Pass a bowl of akutuq and save some utraq for latter. Their deprivation caused by naluagmiut and Federal policy could have shown us lessons of immeasurable grace and tolerance in our national and world affairs.
This is a politician’s story that does not end in disgrace or embarrassment. His flaws do not involve greed or incompetence. Good story, well told. Charles Marlin